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The Dream behind Shwapno

ACI Logistics Ltd. launched with the dream to change the life style of Bangladeshi consumers
with the brand name SHWAP!" in the form of retail chain in #$$%. Since ince&tion going
the e'tra mile the com&any has always ensured best (alue in best &rice through &roduct
a(ailability) *uality) &rice and ser(ice for its (alued customers. +or its uni*ue (alue
&ro&osition Shwa&no has already became the most &referred sho& for daily sho&&ing. Being
the largest con(enience retail chain of Bangladesh Shwa&no is currently o&erating ,- outlets
in .ha/a) Chittagong 0 Syhlet.
Standing motionless) raising head to the o&en s/y) staring aimlessly) ha(ing tears rolled
inside the heart) e'&ecting for customers) who will a&&roach followed by &urchasing the
&roduct) but returning home selling his merchandise at below the &roduction cost most often
lea(ing those merchandise unsold at the end of the day due to lac/ of buyer) a farmer from
a ty&ical Ba1ar in Bangladesh &asses his e(eryday for his li(elihood. 2here are millions of
farmers scattered across Bangladesh ha(e this sort of gruesome and untold e'&erience in
their life leading them to ta/e di3erent such un&roducti(e occu&ation as &ulling ric/shaw)
thus dragging our agro based economy to down and ma/ing us more de&endent on
im&orted food. Ironically) most of us do not /now that silent cry is going in the families of
those ha&less farmers. 4ost farmers s&end their day in sus&icion thin/ing whether they can
sell their &roducts at fair &rice as well as sell those all) e(en if they ha(e bum&er &roduction
in their 5eld. Hardly do they get fair &rice and sell those altogether) ironically. What a great
humiliation for farmers) who wor/ all day long under scorching sun de(oting his ha&&iness
and meet the daily (egetable and grain needs of urban &eo&le. Li/ewise) 5sherman and
meat &roducer encounter this ty&e of fate in their life. 4ost of the farmers) 5sherman and
meat &roducer of our country are the (ictim of ty&ical interest business .adan") which
e'&loit them instead of bene5ting them. Lots of (egetables decay in rural area because
farmers do not 5nd enough buyers who will buy their goods) whereas city dwellers &ay e'tra
to meet their (egetable need. Besides) &oor trans&ortation infrastructure and trans&ortation
system attribute to ine6cient 7ow of agriculture goods from rural area to urban. While
&roducers are on one e'treme of (alue chain) consumers are on other e'treme.
Sho&&ing in untidy ambiance such as muddy 7oor) insu6cient s&ace to mo(e) unhygienic
arrangement of &roduct) bargaining &rocess) inconsistence &rice) a sho&&er in urban area
lose his or her interest to sho& in mar/et and get &anic/ed subse*uently. Sho&&ing in
/itchen and su&ermar/et is no longer a &leasant e'&erience rather nightmare for sho&&er.
As a result) home ser(ice is getting &o&ularity among urban &eo&le. Customers in urban
area are being decei(ed e(eryday by sho&/ee&ers with selling inferior goods) charging
e'cessi(e &rice and incorrect measurement. In other words) consumers are one sort of
hostage to these sho&&ers) who form one /ind of syndicate and dictate the mar/et. 2he
agony of the consumer com&ound with e'orbitant &rice) inferior *uality of the &roducts) long
bargaining custom in Bangladesh) inaccurate measurement) tra6c 8am) and so forth
triggered by lose of interest for sho&&ing) whilst sho&&ing is a &leasant e'&erience in most
of the countries es&ecially de(elo&ed country. otably) consumers of Bangladesh ha(e
always been the (ictim of dece&tion by the sho&&ers) who in(ariably mani&ulate the &rice.
2he abo(e two &arties of the (alue chain are the ultimate loser since intermediaries in this
(alue chain &rocess rea& the ma8or bene5t by e'&loiting both &roducer and consumer in
terms of &aying &rice below the &roduction cost to the &roducer and charging &remium &rice
to the customers. Wholesaler and retailer are two intermediaries in this (alue chain) where
wholesaler often form cartel to mani&ulate the mar/et by creating crisis in the moment of
high demand or low &roduction) while retailer charge customer with high &rice) sell inferior
*uality) &ractice ina&&ro&riate measurement) and so forth. either &roducers nor consumers
get the bene5t of the (alue chain. !nly do the wholesaler and retailer ca&itali1e on the wea/
bargaining &ower of the &roducer and absence of &ro&er monitoring on mar/et &rice) *uality
assurance by go(ernment on the &art of consumer. We ha(e not seen any signi5cant
&rogress in &reser(ing consumers9 rights in Bangladesh) e(en if go(ernment too/ se(eral
measures) such as cam&aign against contamination) enacting new laws concerning
consumers9 rights) and so on.
2oday farmers) who are in(ariably de&ri(ed of ha(ing minimal scale of social rights to ma/e
the li(elihood through farming) are the most unfortunate community in Bangladesh des&ite
ser(ing the nation with su&&lying basic need:food. In addition) hardly do they get any
assistance from go(ernment in terms of su&&lying fertili1er) diesel oil) seeds) culti(ation
e*ui&ments at rational &rice) whereas farmers in de(elo&ed and de(elo&ing countries are
the most res&ected community) who can a(ail subsidies from go(ernment) *uality seeds)
fertili1er and diesel oil at chea& &rice. 2his ironic situation of our farmers is leading them to
embrace some un&roducti(e &rofessions most often some anti:social acti(ities) thereby
im&acting economy negati(ely dragging the country to more reliance on foreign aid.
Ad(anced Chemical Industries ;ACI< Ltd) former ICI Plc =/) began its 8ourney in ->># with the
mission of enriching the *uality of life through res&onsible a&&lication of /nowledge) s/ills
and technology) and has successfully established itself as one of the biggest conglomerates
in Bangladesh. ACI) ha(ing a multinational heritage) is committed to the &ursuit of
e'cellence through world:class &roducts) inno(ati(e &rocesses and em&owered em&loyees)
to &ro(ide the highest le(el of satisfaction to its customers. ACI began its 8ourney to ensure
better life to the Bangladeshi &eo&le with the name of ICI ;Im&erial Chemical Industries< in
->?% in Bangladesh by o3ering a wide range of such &roducts as &harmaceutical) Consumer
&roduct) and so forth. Howe(er) ICI di(ested into ACI ;Ad(anced Chemical Industries< by
selling its share to local management) and named by ACI in ->>#. By far) the life sa(ing
drugs and home care &roducts ha(e met the need from the &eo&le to some e'tent as the
&ersistent e'istence and acce&tance from local community since ->?% has &ro(en and
ac/nowledged its endea(or and uncom&romising *uality. Home care &roducts encom&ass
ACI Aerosol) ACI 4os*uito Coil) Angelic Air +reshener) Sa(lon Li*uid Antise&tic) Sa(lon
Antise&tic Cream) Sa(lon Li*uid Soa&) and so on. ACI has been reali1ing certain areas) which
need to be im&ro(ed in order to ensure better life standard in Bangladesh for cou&le of
years. It follows that) ACI started thin/ing to in(est in those &otential as well as demanding
areas. As a conse*uence) we ha(e been e'&eriencing new inclusion to ACI family such as
7our) s&ice &owder) salt) electronics) and so forth. All endea(ors) deemed by ACI) underta/en
so far are for enriching the *uality of life of Bangladeshi &eo&le.
Howe(er) a large &ortion &o&ulation es&ecially farmer and end user has been de&ri(ed of
ha(ing such bene5t) e(en though mar/et is 7ooded with a wide range of &roducts since the
&roducers do not get a&&ro&riate &rice for their &roduction and consumers in(ariably are
decei(ed by sellers) who often sell inferior goods) goods with inaccurate measurement) and
so on. !f late) most of the business 5rms form cartel) which has been worsening the
condition of life of farmers as well as consumers) to dictate the mar/et) and they are
successful in this case. ACI has been loo/ing for ways to 5nish this cartel o3 so as to bene5t
both farmers and consumers. Besides) most of the (egetable &roduced in rural areas get
rotten due to lac/ of &ro&er trans&ort facilities) whereas city dwellers ha(e to &ay e'tra
money for scarce (egetable in the city.
Countries) li/e Bangladesh) where economy is based on agriculture altogether) are re*uired
to em&hasi1e more on agribusiness and su&&ly chain de(elo&ment since these countries
lac/ su6cient technology to mo(e to industry) which re*uires natural resources as well as
e'tensi(e technological /nowhow. @(ery country has com&arati(e ad(antage on some area)
and so does Bangladesh. Com&arati(e ad(antage of Bangladesh is su&&osed to be
agriculture. By contrast) Bangladesh is blessed with both natural and human resources. By
far) the &rimary contributors to the e'che*uer are remittance and garments sectors) where
millions of &eo&le are wor/ing relentlessly to ensure sustainable economic growth. @(en if
Bangladesh has e'&erienced a surged in some such industries as garments) te'tile) and
small cottage) it cannot deny the role of agriculture to the economy as it has to im&ort a lot
of food e(ery year to meet the local demand) while there are lots of &otentiality to grow
foods if lands are &ro&erly used and modern technology is ado&ted in agriculture.
=nderstanding the ga& in the (alue chain) ACI has initiated to establish new businesses
namely ACI Agribusiness and ACI Logistics to remo(e this ga&) to u&root cartel) and to
ensure reasonable &rice for both farmers and consumers. ACI Agribusiness has been wor/ing
to bring re(olution to the agriculture by in(esting such areas as Seeds) +ertili1er) 4otor) Cro&
care 0 Public Health) and Animal Health) whilst ACI Logistics has been established to de(ote
itself to bene5t the end users of all &roducts.